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Res Meaning a Thing Thought: The Influence of the Ars donati

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During the fourth century C. E. Donatus borrowed from the Greek tradition the idea of replacing res corporalis with res in the definition of the noun, because of the usual equivalence between pragma and res. This change had important consequences, such as a new distinction between corpus and res, as well as a new meaning proposed for the word res. This new meaning happened to be questioned by later commentators, because masters of grammar seemed to reject the Donatian distinction between corpus and res, and consider that corpus is rather included inside res, before being later accepted by Sedulius and Remigius, perhaps under the influence of the common expression res verbi. However, the word remained poly-semic in spite of Donatus' attempt, as can be seen in the Glosulae in Priscianum (s. XII).

Affiliations: 1: CNRS-HTL, Paris


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